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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 17th year of beekeeping in April 2022. Now there are more than 1300 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

Even if you find one post on the subject, I've posted a lot on basic beekeeping skills like installing bees, harvesting honey, inspecting the hive, etc. so be sure to search for more once you've found a topic of interest to you. And watch the useful videos and slide shows on the sidebar. All of them have captions. Please share posts of interest via Facebook, Pinterest, etc.

I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a
Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Thursday, October 09, 2014

My Grandson's Science Project

My grandson, Dylan, wanted to do something with bees for his third grade science project.  He likes that I melt wax on the sidewalk in front of my house all the time so he and I decided that he could do a project about wax melting.

He decided to compare filter materials in the solar wax melter.  I have three styrofoam box solar wax melters so he compared three filter materials - coffee filter, paper towel, and silk.

 He measured and weighed the wax shards so that there was a ball that weighed 2 ounces of wax on each plastic container.

Then on a hot but somewhat cloudy day in August, we put all three solar wax melters out on the sidewalk - one with coffee filters, one with paper towels and one with silk.  Dylan said in his report that "we left them out for three days, including nights."

At the end of the experiment, he discovered that his hypothesis (that paper towels would be the best because that is what his grandma used), was wrong.  The coffee filter resulted in the cleanest wax by subjective observation.  The silk, which took three full days to filter through completely, absorbed the least amount of wax, thus resulting in the most volume of wax filtered through.

He and I printed out and put captions on photo of everything he did.  Here he is in front of his board.

I was so proud of him and excited that he wanted me to do this with him.  I hope he'll choose a bee project next year also.


  1. 1. That's adorable.
    2. Are you going to switch to coffee filters now?

  2. What a bright boy! You have good reason to be proud. And thanks foe the information.

  3. I am not going to switch to coffee filters - they are too small for most of the containers that I use so it would be inefficient enough to justify the wax being less clean. I always filter the wax through silk before making it into lip balm and I always filter it again through something - usually panty hose when making candles. So it will be filtered again before I use it after filtering through the paper towel in the solar wax melter.

  4. I am so glad I found your blog! As a Mom who loves homeschooling projects (particularly solar ones!) and is starting out with bees here in sunny Tanzania, I found this experiment brilliant! I'd love to know more about solar melters! We will have to try it and post our results on our blog!! Thanks! Rachel

  5. If you explore this blog, I have both a video and a slide show on how to make a solar wax melter on the right column....>


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